Unified Communications

Service Description

The Department of Information Technology (DIT) established the Microsoft Office 365 (O365) program in June 2013 to address outdated office software issues and productivity challenges, and to establish a modern software licensing model for the Microsoft Office Product Suite. This program replaced the legacy on-premises email/archive system, and now provides an enterprise communication and collaboration set of services to improve productivity and efficiency in the government workforce.

Office 365 (O365) Subscription Services provided by Microsoft through DIT offer Agencies a 99.9% financially backed Service Level Agreement (SLA). Agencies can choose from a full suite of products and services that meet their business requirements and costs.

Office 365 Service Description

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office-365-service-descriptions.aspx 

  • Full suite (G3) - Office, Email/Archive, SharePoint, OneDrive, Skype for Business
  • Web access only (G1) - Office Web apps, Outlook on the Web, SharePoint, OneDrive, Skype for Business
  • Email only - via Outlook on the Web (Exchange Online Plans, or EOLP).

Additionally the State’s Enterprise Project Management Office hosts Project Online through these services. Over 50,000 State employees have access to the G3 Full suite of services. The G3 suite provides access to up-to-date MS Office applications anywhere, anytime, as well as security.

The G3 Suite of services includes:

  • Email, calendaring and archiving provided by Exchange Online to meet email retention requirements for Executive Order 12. Email data loss protection and Encryption are also available.
  • Online conferencing via Skype for Business; Video, audio, and web conferencing, including desktop sharing and instant messaging (IM)
  • Online and Desktop access to the latest versions of MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, Skype for Business and Access
  • File storage and team collaboration with SharePoint and OneDrive

Office 365 For Government

Services provided by Microsoft through DIT are hosted in the O365 Government Cloud. Additionally, all authentication and access to these services are provided by the State’s identity management solution. Microsoft’s O365 Government Cloud:

  • Is logically segregated from commercial customer content.
  • Is stored within the United States.
  • Is restricted to screened Microsoft personnel.
  • Complies with certifications and accreditations that are required for US Public Sector customers.

For more information about the Government Cloud and Security see:

Email, Calendars, and Protection

Agencies have Government-class email through Exchange Online Services. This service provides Email, Archive and protection services with the rich and familiar Outlook experience users are accustomed to. Users can access these services from their desktop, web browser using Outlook for the Web (OWA) and mobile devices. Each user gets a 50 GB mailbox and can send attachments up to 25 MB. Email archive is unlimited and all mailboxes are put on legal hold for compliance. Retention policies can also be applied. Shared calendars let users see when others are free or busy.

Exchange Online Protection and Encryption

Exchange Online Protection defends against spam and malware. It provides advanced security by eliminating threats from 100% of known viruses and 99% of spam before they reach the firewall. Exchange Online includes:

Data Loss Protection

Data loss prevention (DLP) is an important issue for enterprise message systems because of the extensive use of email for business critical communication that includes sensitive data. With Office 365, customers own and control their data; data is not mined or used for advertising.

Skype for Business (Online Conferencing, Instant Messaging Desktop Sharing)

G3 Full Suite and G1 Web Only Customers can share presence and connect with other Skype and Skype for Business users via instant message, audio conferencing and video calls. Customers can host online meetings with audio and video using one-click desktop screen sharing, high-definition video conferencing with up 5 video participants, and virtual whiteboard. Meetings can accommodate up to 250 participants. 

SharePoint and One Drive - File Storage and Sharing

OneDrive

Agency users get 1 terabyte (TB) of personal storage that syncs with their PC/Mac for offline access. They can easily share documents with other employees through Office or SharePoint.

Note: External sharing of OneDrive content is turned off and content is deleted if the user is off boarded. Users need to be aware of retention policies when using this service.

SharePoint Team and Collaboration Sites

Teams can work together on projects and keep related documents, notes, tasks, and conversations organized together. In addition, it’s possible to deploy an organization-wide intranet portal used to disseminate information and news across the organization. For a quick overview of other Microsoft SharePoint Online products and technologies, see What is SharePoint?

Office and Office Online

Customers can sync email, calendar, and contacts. They can access files from anywhere, anytime and create and edit Word, OneNote, PowerPoint, and Excel documents from any modern browser. Enjoy a full, installed Office experience across PCs, Macs, Windows tablets and iPad® and Android™ tablets, and most mobile devices. Each user can install Office on 5 PCs or Macs, 5 tablets (Windows, iPad, and Android), and 5 phones. Learn more.

Other Services Unified Communications Provide

Distribution Lists

The Distribution List service is based on the Mailman listserv product, which provides controls for content filtering and list access. Mailman lists can be moderated and monitored so that designated individuals can approve all posts to the lists. Mailman lists can include members from any email domain.

Relay and Filtering

The DIT Relay and Filtering service provides message relay and sanitization (antispam filtering and antivirus scanning) for agencies not using the State’s email system.

Email Restore Service

An Email Restore Service (ERS) request is used to restore email data that is dated before October 2010. This benefits our customers by fulfilling public records requests. Having timely access to accurate information is important in such cases. Public records requests give the customer the right records at the right time. Both the Email Restore Service (ERS) request and the Public records request require the approval of authorized Agency personnel as referenced in Appendix C in the ERS Service Definition document.

Benefits

  • All services are in the secure Government Cloud and meet compliance regulations.
  • Customers enjoy a full, installed Office experience across PCs, Macs, Windows tablets and iPad® and Android™ tablets, and most mobile devices. Each user can install Office on 5 PCs or Macs, 5 tablets (Windows, iPad, and Android), and 5 phones.
  • O365 Productivity Tools—Skype, IM, OneDrive and Mobile Access—allow real-time communication and collaboration from anywhere.
  • All Office 365 Government plans include access to the latest versions of MS Office applications. Version upgrades and updates are included in each subscription. New features are rolled out in an IT-configurable experience.
  • New third-party and customer-developed apps work with Office and SharePoint to bring web services right into documents and sites.
  • Office 365 Services are available with a guaranteed 99.9% uptime, financially backed service level agreement (SLA) from Microsoft.
  • Five layers of security and proactive monitoring help keep data safe.
  • Customers can search and discover content across Office 365 based on personalized insights.
  • Archiving and legal hold capabilities, plus unlimited storage, allow for compliance needs. Data loss prevention (DLP) policies provide for additional compliance enforcement.
  • Economies of scale enable DIT to offer these services at rates that meet or exceed commercial, private sector offerings, particularly since DIT calculates rates based on financial breakeven—not profit—targets.
  • Agency/customer administrators are able to accomplish common tasks such as managing their organization's mailing lists, groups, contacts, and calendar resources in real time, without having to submit a request to our Service Desk.

Customers

  • Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Department of Public Safety Adult Corrections (DPS), and Department of Transportation (DOT) are the largest agencies using our Email service; others include Department of Agriculture, Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR), and Division of Employment Security (DES) — about 30 agencies in all, with a number of counties and municipalities as well.
  • All Executive Branch users on the Email service will have their email archived per Executive Order 12.
  • Non-DIT messaging systems in the state government, counties, municipalities, and education systems can use the Relay & Filtering service in place for all agencies for a fee.
  • Mailman distribution lists are used by state agencies and other governmental entities. The statewide Amber Alert and Silver Alert lists are hosted on Mailman, as is the Governor's contact list.
  • DIT hosts more than 55,000 mailboxes. We have nearly 3,000 Mailman distribution lists; providing Relay & Filtering for more than 38 non-DIT email organizations and thousands of additional smartphones and mobile devices such as Droid and iPhones -  all which connect to the messaging infrastructure through ActiveSync.

How Do We Charge?

View Billing Rates for This Service

Next Steps

To take advantage of any of our Unified Communications services, please contact our Service Desk at 919-754-6000 or 1-800-722-3946, or email dit.incidents@its.nc.gov to submit a service request.

  • If your organization is new to DIT services, we will assign a Business Account Manager as your key contact with us, to determine the next steps to fulfill your specific request, and to explain more about our portfolio of services.
  • If your organization is new to Unified Communications services, a DIT Project Manager will contact you to set up an initial meeting to explain the process by which we bring new agencies and other customers on board.
  • After these initial steps are taken, a Unified Communications team member will contact your technical staff to coordinate the details needed to fulfill your request.
  • New email users are provisioned through the NCID Identity Management service. The Unified Communications team works with NCID in order to set up ongoing provisioning for new customers.
  • Agencies/customers are billed monthly for Unified Communication services.
  • Billing is now split between a Support rate for Accessing O365 / Help Desk Support and Licensing. Everyone who uses the service is billed the Support Rate. Only Consolidated Agencies are billed for licensing. Non-consolidated Agencies must purchase their licenses and have them put into the State’s O365 Tenant.

Communications and Status

If you are a customer of this service, please visit our Customer Communication Hub to self-register for communications regarding this service and to view Service Status.

  • Effective August 15, 2016, the ITS Communications Hub has been replaced with the new DIT Communications Hub.  The DIT Communications Hub is restricted to government and educational agencies. 
  • If you are unable to access the new DIT Communications Hub, please contact the DIT Service Desk at 919-754-6000 or dit.incidents@its.nc.gov.